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Archive for January, 2009

Hooray for ME

January 31st, 2009 at 09:01 pm

I just finished the taxes, and despite all odds, we're still getting a refund.
I've e-filed and am happy to wash my hands of the whole deal. I hope the nasty Wall Street rip-off artists enjoy my money.
Am I the only one who would like to throw rotten eggs at them?
And believe me, after a decade in the brokerage business, I understand the bonus system. But I never expected the ordinary taxpayer to pay MY bonus.

My ebay auctions closed the other day, and wonder of wonders, the toddler socks sold for (gasp) $8.49. I almost fainted when I saw that. So I'm adding the $8.49 and the the other $1.99 to my challenge totals.

Some Weekend Plans

January 30th, 2009 at 04:10 pm

I'd like to finish the taxes this weekend. I started yesterday and am just waiting for totals on some charitable deductions.

Both of my ebay auctions have bids, although small ones. But I guess every little bit helps. I'll be off to the Post office tomorrow to mail those items.

It was a balmy zero here again this morning, but the impending demise of January will be good news indeed!

I've got a textbook review due that I'm hoping to finish over the weekend too. That cash may go to my NYC spending fund.
I'm off to the big city at the end of the month, and if any of you have Manhattan budget ideas, let me know! We're staying in a hotel with a kitchen, so that'll help keep breakfast costs down.

Is it still January?

January 28th, 2009 at 10:21 pm

Inspired by a bunch of you, I deposited some money in my Roth IRA today. Only another $250 and I'm still catching up with 2008, but I feel like I need more than 25K in the emergency fund. That gets me about halfway to my 2008 goal.

No new news--spent a bit on groceries and mailed by textbook sale. One ebay auction expired without a sale, but the other already has bids.


I'm thinking about doing the taxes this weekend. Anyone else?

Here we go again

January 27th, 2009 at 08:01 pm

School's started around here again, and I've walked the six blocks from free parking both mornings in the subzero windchills. Admittedly I've bought a cup of discounted coffee after that, but it gets me going in the morning.

I have happy news about a book sale that netted me $84.09, so I'm well into next month's ebay totals. Hooray!

Everyone is talking about layoffs at the university, so I'm trying to be positive and upbeat. But so many of my students are jobless right now, I wonder how they're going to make it.

I arrange for students from last semester to sell their books to this semester's students to try to cut out the bookstore middleman. I hope that helps them.

A teeny bit more

January 26th, 2009 at 03:23 am

One small sale on ebay to cap off the end of break so adding $2.25 to my challenge.
Can I make my $100 goal?

Break is officially over and I'm back to school in the morning. Nothing like single digit temps to make me clutch on to my travel mug!


Getting Over It

January 24th, 2009 at 11:48 pm

I'm slowly getting over my disappointment at my lost class. I keep reminding myself to search even harder for bargains and to ask myself on every purchase, "Do we need this?"

On that note, I sent DH and DD to the cheap-o haircutters, both with coupons, bought a couple cards at the dollar store, and went to the dread Best Buy to get the digital converter boxes. The guy tried to sell us the most expensive ones, but we ended up with the $49 ones, so for the two TVs, it only cost $20 after the coupon. We also got Turbotax there as I anxious to get to the taxes. DH tried to get me to buy an Ipod case, but they were $30-$35 there.

After a trip to the library, (and the Jo Nesbo book I wanted!) we came home where I bought an Ipod case for $10 including shipping. It was the same case and brand that was $35 at Worst Buy.

All in all we saved a fair chunk of change, and I'm confident I can make some of my lost salary up.

Homemade pizzas tonight!

Upside Down

January 23rd, 2009 at 07:47 pm

No, not the mortgage, but the news on my class. Last night it looked like a sure thing, and I spent hours planning it and readying a new syllabus. Today, thanks
to overall shrinking enrollments, it's vaporized.

I am disappointed and out 5K.
And it's still subzero January.
Bleeccch.

Some Good News

January 23rd, 2009 at 03:56 am

Besides not spending even a slim dime today, the word has come down that I may get my full load of teaching after all.

That means about another $5K so that that would make me very very happy. Cross your fingers and say your prayers that it actually happens.

I got an offer from a publisher today to do a textbook review for $150, and finally the conference reimbursement showed up, so it's been a very rich day.

And I pushed myself back onto the treadmill after a week off. I'm also as happy about that as about the money.

Frugalicious Shopping Trip

January 21st, 2009 at 05:52 pm

First, to fully appreciate how thrilled I was by this, you need to know the Brit husband is an oatmeal junkie. Or a porridge junkie, as he'd say.

Now on to the wonder of it all. At an unusual daytime grocery shopping expedition,our local grocer had huge boxes of Quaker oats for $2 each. So I bought 5 and other cheap-o Quaker products. Of course I had coupons, and today was double-coupon day. And an lovely lady, laughing at all the oatmeal in my cart gave me her additional $1 off coupons (doubled!) and the store flyer featured another $3 off coupon.

I used to dream of beautiful mornings overlooking the Aegean (well, I still do), but today's dream come true was all that lovely oatmeal for free. And tonight's menu features comfort-food meatloaf made with oatmeal.

With the coupon and store card, everything I bought was half off.

Life is good.

Drip by Drop

January 20th, 2009 at 07:42 pm

I've sold another book, and am happier about the decluttering than the $4 I got for it. I'll list some of DD's outgrown clothes later too.

But today seems like a day for new beginnings, so I'm devoting most of it to getting stuff in order, readying myself for the upcoming semester of teaching, and thinking about the upcoming tasks for the country and for all of us.

I wish you all a happy Inauguration Day.

Warming Up

January 19th, 2009 at 02:26 am

Like everywhere, our concern has mostly been the weather, but it's been a bit warmer today.
We're geared about about the inauguration and it makes for great discussion in my class tomorrow night.
I've made a couple of ebay sales and a couple of Amazon sales to the total of $56.46 which I'll add to my ebay challenge money!

Museum memberships

January 12th, 2009 at 03:53 am

I always wonder if museum memberships are good bargains, but we went to a local science museum today and enjoyed it so much we bought a membership. The total for the three of us w/o membership was $47, and the membership was another $28 on top of that. They discount the parking and give you the usual 10% off in the gift and snack shops. I figure if we go one more time, we're ahead. And we probably will--it's only about 20 minutes away, close to my husband's office, and DD loved it.

It's right on Lake Michigan and has great summer options as well.

No other news to report except the whopping $1.87 I made toward my ebay challenge at half.com.

Snuggling in

January 9th, 2009 at 03:56 am

The promise of more snow this weekend followed by subzero temps next week makes the upcoming days perfect for scouting out junk in the house to sell on ebay. I freecycled some kids' books today in the interest of decluttering and listed something on ebay.

I was aiming for a NSD, and thinking I could actually put a plus in the account today when I returned some tights to Marshall's. Unfortunately, I did not turn around and walk out after I did the return, but bought a few really cute plates and cups with NY, London, and Paris skylines on them. They were only $3.99 each, and the sets will make really cute gifts for friends that have shared all three cities with me. That's my rationalization, darn it.

Soup making and ebay on the horizon.
Too bad I can't sell soup on ebay!

Taking some steps

January 7th, 2009 at 07:16 pm

After yesterday's rant about the heat, I'm home with the heat off after 8:30. Maybe my chilliness will get me warming up on the treadmill.

And I'm in on the ebay/amazon/etc sales to the tune of $20.08 with a $100 goal for the month.

I also spent some time this morning checking out Manhattan hotel rates. I found a nice spot at the Affina Manhattan for $149/night, but thinking about switching to the Iroquois which is more expensive, but maybe????

Anyone with any Manhattan expertise? I haven't been there in years.

Steamed about heat?

January 7th, 2009 at 02:12 am

Our dreadful December/November gas/electric combo came today, and it ain't purty. matter of fact, it's $437 ugly.
I am NOT happy and am sitting with a blanket wrapped around me as I type.

Other bad news includes the IRA statement from American century and the fact that it's still the first week in January. Lots of heating, and probably lots of stock market losses on the horizon still.

Happier news includes the start of a new class last night and my unnatural avoidance of the vending machines there, despite the 4 1/2 hour long class.

Pleased to hear anyone else's good news...